An on-site check at the offices of the Medical Association (CyMA) over decisions and actions it took urging members not to join Gesy was launched on Tuesday by the Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC), its head Loukia Christodoulou announced.
“We are the beginning of an investigation,” she said, adding that it does not mean that anyone is necessarily guilty.
The investigation revolves around the possible violation by CyMA and its members of the law on protection of competition and article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that prohibits cartels and other agreements that could disrupt free competition in the European Economic Area’s internal market, the CPC said.
Christodoulou said the examinations were being carried out for “further investigation of the potential violation of article 101.”
The probe concerns actions and decisions by CyMA and its members, including medical companies and local medical boards, concerning their participation or not in Gesy “and more specifically their decisions and/or actions with which they call on, urge or advise their members not to participate in Gesy,” Christodoulou said.
She added that the aim is to collect the necessary information to carry out the probe.
What actions the commission would take next would depend on the results of the investigation.
She would not comment on whether the investigation would stretch to the other medical associations.
Earlier in the year, the vast majority of medical societies explicitly dismissed claims of manipulation by the leadership of CyMA and declared that they would not make any agreements with the state over participating in Gesy if all demands of the association were not met.
The demands made by CyMA following an extraordinary general assembly in October last year involve allowing private doctors within Gesy to practice outside the system; increasing the Gesy budget; full administrative and financial autonomy of state hospitals before Gesy is implemented; a guaranteed unit price for specialist doctors involved in outpatient care; and inpatient fees per medical procedure.
Last February, a prominent member of the association, paediatrician Alkis Papadouris’ resignation letter accused CyMA’s medical board (SIS) of blackmailing doctors to not participate in Gesy, as the board was planning to create a private health platform which doctors participating in Gesy are barred from.
Papadouris had claimed SIS’ leadership was fully controlled by the association of private doctors (Enik).
In April, the private hospitals association (Pasin) announced that 14 of its members that have decided not to join Gesy were part of the private medicine network deeming that this best served the goal of providing quality health services to Cypriot patients within viable terms.